What is it about motherhood that makes a congenital worry-wart grow 10 times bigger?
Since having kids, it seems I spend half my life talking the boys down from high walls, breaking up fights at home and stepping in when their antics get a bit too dare devilish.
Yet there are times when all I can do is stand by and watch their risk-taking ways – with my heart in my mouth.
As it’s a little chilly for swimming right now (if you live here, that is, tourists are not deterred), we’re making the most of Dubai’s park life. The city has wonderful parks – green, landscaped, clean and strewn with flowers and things to do, from train rides to trampolines.
One of my favourites is a smaller park near BB’s school that looks like this:
The landscaping, fountains and bridges are lovely and it’s set in the middle of a gated community of luxurious million-dirham villas, in which many of BB’s school friends actually live.
The only drawback – as is the case with most of Dubai’s parks and play areas – is it’s mainly nannies who watch the kids, so the chances of striking up a conversation with a like-minded mum are reduced. But that didn’t bother me today, as I imagined myself sitting on the grass with a book.
On arriving, however, we found a towering plastic inflatable slide, with various other 15dhs (£3)-a-pop rides, and I immediately knew my plans for an afternoon of wholesome, inexpensive fun were thwarted.
As BB clambered up the giant slide, I tried to close my ears to the deafening din of Bollywood music competing with ‘Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush’ coming from the helicopter ride opposite.
A couple of kids, supervised by a nanny with no teeth (I don’t mean that literally, I mean a timid, overworked nanny with little control over her charges), were climbing the wall of the slide and, thankful that BB wasn’t doing the same, I relaxed a little – until I saw what he was doing.
He was bouncing at the top of the slide to gain momentum, then took a flying jump, which I can only describe as a backward flip with a twist – landing half-way down the slide on his head with an audible jolt.
“BB NO,” I roared, far too late. I was honestly scared he could have broken his neck. Didn’t bother him, of course. He simply sprung up at the bottom with a massive grin on his face and an expression that said, “Mummy, look at me!”
Boys – they’re not for the fainted hearted – and I know I just have to get used to it, because the day will come when they’ll want flying lessons.
PICTURE CREDIT: CollectAir